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Vancouver 34 Helena in trouble

Comrade Red

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From the MCA facebook....

HM Coastguard is currently coordinating rescue efforts for a yacht believed to be in trouble off Spain.

An EPIRB beacon alert was received for the UK Registered Vancouver 34 yacht Helena in an area 500 miles north west off Cape Finisterre around 12.20am today (22 May).

Its location means that the nearest vessel which can help is 22 hours away with a second one 27 hours away. Two vessels are on their way to the position. A French maritime patrol aircraft has been sent to search the area. HM Coastguard has been unable to get in touch with any of the listed contacts and is appealing for help to get hold of someone who might be able to assist with some further details of the 10 metre yacht and its crew.

Duty controller Piers Stanbury said: ‘We have as yet been unable to find someone who can help us with more information, including how many are on board. ‘We’re coordinating the response and are working with the French Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, looking at all the means to get someone on scene as soon as possible, including sending military planes to help but the location and the weather is making that an extra challenge.’

Contact 02392 552100 if you can help.
 

Carib

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The comments on the post I saw indicated they've now established a singlehander is on board.
 

Tradewinds

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He's a member of the OCC. Called the number above and they have the information shown on his OCC Member's profile.
 

Carib

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He's a member of the OCC. Called the number above and they have the information shown on his OCC Member's profile.
That's interesting - his boat name isn't listed in the OCC handbook (edit: but I see it now on the website). I hope he's okay.
 
Last edited:

laika

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Contact 02392 552100 if you can help.
A little off-topic but hopefully given Carib's post suggesting lives are not in immediate danger no-one will mind....observations are (1) I feel ashamed to admit it because it seems an obvious step but I must have missed the announcement that offshore SAR (and presumably the EPIRB registry?) is now co-ordinated from Fareham rather than Falmouth and (2) Why has the NMOC got a Portsmouth number when it's actually on the southampton side of Fareham?
 

Sgeir

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Pleased that he is well and making repairs. Must have been a really bad blow as dismasting is very unusual for a Vancouver - the V34 has, from memory, no fewer than fourteen stays and shrouds....
 

FlyingGoose

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The weather was well forecasted for 3 days before , the blow is hitting Scotland right now but the Front leads all the way down the N Spain, along with this the front would have pushed the swell and waves Eastwards
Not critiquing , as I Do not know all the ins and outs ,
 

E39mad

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Pleased that he is well and making repairs. Must have been a really bad blow as dismasting is very unusual for a Vancouver - the V34 has, from memory, no fewer than fourteen stays and shrouds....
My thoughts also on the rigging twin backstays, separate intermediates etc etc - I wonder if it has been rolled.
 

zoidberg

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He was apparently able to provide EPIRB/GPS positioning, AIS and local VHF comms. He seems to have prep'ed the boat well, with robust fenders out - and mast, rigging, debris cut away and jettisoned.

She seemed to be sitting a little bit low in the water, but that could be perspective.

From the photos, he had a full backpack as he prepared to climb the pilot ladder onto the rescue vessel.
 

Little Dorrit

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Winds appear to be forecast as northerly or north easterly for next 4 days at F6 so not favourable for an easy landfall whatever the situation was. Just great news that all is well.
 

Seven Spades

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Seems a shame to abandon that boat it looks like it just needed a tow. It is interesting that he was broadcasting AIS, I am sure that mine is broadcast from the mast-top. I wonder if he had an AIS beacon?

It will be interesting to know if he was rolled was he sailing, lying a hull or if he had deployed any drogues etc. At what point do you deploy a sea anchor, it seems to me that if you are single handed it must be very difficult to do so unless you do it before you need to do it if you see what I mean.

It would be very interesting to read or hear of his account, there could be lessons for us all.
 

cherod

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a shame for an ( apparently ) well founded and experience sailor to loose his lovely boat.
 

dunedin

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It is interesting that he was broadcasting AIS, I am sure that mine is broadcast from the mast-top. I wonder if he had an AIS beacon?
Surely everybody carries an emergency VHF aerial as part of their kit? 25cm VHF Emergency Antenna
Plug this in to the splitter after the mast comes down and can then use both the ships VHF / DSC radio and AIS transceiver (at full power, albeit lower range due to lower height above sea level).
He sounds like an experienced skipper so sure he would be carrying that sort of kit
 

Wansworth

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He seems to have no spars left,maybe a case for stowing at least the jib booming out spar on deck to form the basis of a rig,difficult to position on deck without a semblance of a tabernacle........all from my armchair of course!
 
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